National Support Line Volunteer

  • VO86893
  • Home-based volunteering


Could you provide emotional or practical support to somebody in need?

We are looking for volunteers who can provide help to those who need it most through our National Support Line.

As an NSL Operator you will provide support to those who may have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Some of those you will be helping will need emotional support as they are experiencing loneliness and isolation. Others may need an emergency food parcel or medication, or to be signposted to an external agency who can provide further support.

Volunteers will generally be able to undertake a minimum of one shift (4.5 hours) per week. Shift patterns are 9.45am – 2.15pm, and 1.45pm – 6.15pm, 7 days a week. We ask for a commitment of 6 months, or 26 shifts, as a minimum following training.

You will:

Receive introductory training and induction to the British Red Cross and the National Support Line
Take calls from the public (using an online telephony system)
Make internal referrals to British Red Cross services by using established processes
Signpost to external support by using our comprehensive Operator Manual
Provide emotional support
Help identify safeguarding concerns where appropriate
Accurately record all service user details within our secure Microsoft Dynamics 365 database
You must have access to a quiet space and telephone, a laptop or desktop computer with internet connection (tablets do not work with our system) and be IT proficient.

What you will be doing:
Receiving calls from members of the public who have been affected by COVID19
Providing emotional support to distressed individuals
Providing practical support to individuals such as information on the incident, signposting to other organisations, referrals for ongoing support and other advice specific to the incident
Receiving information from callers for referral purposes or for access to services specific to the incident
Attending briefings and de-briefings delivered by the Support Line Supervisor
Accurately recording information

The skills you need:
Able to use emotional support skills, in a calm and responsible manner, while providing callers with practical support, and signposting as appropriate
Able to follow BRC policies and procedures
You will be IT literate and have access to a computer
Able to recognise the signs of stress in yourself and others and be aware of your support options
Available to undertake training that is appropriate to the role
Willing to uphold the Fundamental Principles and values of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and adhere to the Society’s Equal Opportunities Policy
Desirable is having experience in providing emotional support for those in distressing situations
Desirable to have additional language skills

What's in it for you:
A flexible volunteering role: you can choose when and how often you work on the support line
The chance to work with a variety of different people from different walks of life and make a real difference to their lives
Comprehensive free training so you can represent the Red Cross with confidence
A great opportunity to develop your existing skills and to gain new ones
The company of a warm and friendly team of like-minded people
Reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses when on duty

Organisation aims and objectives

We are a volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are.


Minimum age: 18

Last updated 5 months ago

Please note, organisations are currently experiencing a large volume of enquiries from people looking to help out. They may not always be able to meet this demand so please be patient, you may not receive a quick response or be assigned to a role.